My HormonologyBothered by acne flare-ups on your face, neck or back during certain times of your cycle? Many dermatologists blame high testosterone during Week 2 of your cycle, which causes your body to churn out more pore-clogging oil. Other skin experts say inflammation caused by Week 3’s water retention leads to breakouts. Whatever the cause of your acne flare-ups, if you’re like me and prefer to skip pricey, chemical-filled drugstore and prescription products and want to use something natural, here’s the solution I swear by: Topical vitamin B3—also known as niacinimide—either in a gel, like Metazene from lifelinknet.com ($19.95 per 2-ounce bottle), or from a twice-weekly mask made from water and a teaspoon of Brewer’s yeast (found in your supermarket’s baking aisle). A study in the International Journal of Dermatology reveals that acne-prone patients who applied a solution containing vitamin B3 to their skin every day had 14% fewer pimples after eight weeks than those using the prescription anti-acne topical medication clindamycin. Credit goes to this nutrient’s ability to reduce oil production and inflammation causing your breakouts. Bonus: Other studies show vitamin B3 also improves your skin’s overall appearance by fading dark spots and reducing fine lines!